South Yorkshire motorists are reminded this week is national Ride to Work Week, which means the number of regular motorcycle and scooter commuters on the roads across the region is likely to swell.
According to insurance quote data, only a third of riders insure their motorbikes for commuting, but this is likely to change over the next few days, as four motorcycle insurance providers are making commuter cover free for existing policy holders for Ride to Work Week.
The Ride to Work campaign highlights the benefits of commuting via motorcycle or scooter, which include saving time, money, easy parking, improved road skills and the fun factor!
This year, the campaign is also highlighting the work of Northamptonshire County Council, which is the first local authority in the UK to actively encourage a modal shift from cars to motorcycles, through its Motorcycle Northants project.
More motorcycles and scooters would help reduce congestion for all road users, according to a European study. It found that when just 10% of car drivers swapped to a motorcycle or scooter, congestion was reduced for all road users by 40%. When 25% swapped, it was eliminated altogether.
Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, which leads the industry-wide Ride to Work Campaign, says including motorcycles in mainstream transport planning would benefit both the economy and rider safety:
“Park the biker stereotype and think ahead to the contribution that small motorcycles and scooters could make as an efficient and sustainable form of personal commuter transport. We are heartened by the example of Northamptonshire County Council, which has made good use of ‘Realising the motorcycling opportunity’; a policy document written by the MCIA and the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
“This explores a growing body of evidence that more motorcycles on the road would lift productivity by reducing congestion, while at the same time boosting motorcycle safety. Concern about rider safety is often cited as a reason not to encourage motorcycle use, but the strength in numbers argument is a valid one, backed by statistics from countries where powered-two-wheeler use is greater, but the ratio of accidents significantly less. It is also the same argument being used by the cycling lobby.”
Motorcyclists also enjoy their commute more. A one-off survey by the Office for National Statistics found that those who rode a motorcycle, scooter or moped didn’t experience any negative affect on well-being on journeys up to half an hour and after that it was negligible. In contrast, those who cycled, walked, took the bus or drove, all experienced a negative affect after just 15 minutes. This is why the campaign uses the hashtag #commutehappy.